January 12, 2015
South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first on a good wicket at the Wanders in Johannesburg.
The Proteas lost both their openers after showing some early intent. That brought about Faf du Plessis who played a quite sensational knock striking 119 off just 56 balls. David Miller also enjoyed the carnage with a brisk 47 off 27 balls. This partnership amounted to 105 off only 8.1 overs.
When du Plessis departed the lower order got to grips with the West Indian bowling attack to put a mammoth total of 231 on the board.
With the short boundaries, West Indies impressive batting line-up and the South Africans second string bowling attack you got the feeling that at half-way this game was far from over! (A real punter would have got a sniff here!)
Chris Gayle came out to bat with Dwayne Smith and after the first over went for 16 without Gayle facing a ball. Smith was removed shortly after being caught on the crease (LBW).
Marlon Samuels strolled to the crease with a sense of purpose about him. That certainly showed when he and Chris Gayle showed why the West Indies are the best in the world at this format.
These two put together the partnership of the match with a stunning 152 off just 11.5 balls. Marlon Samuels scored a brisk 60 off 39 balls but Chris Gayle proved himself to be the most destructive batter in the world with a blistering 90 off 41 balls.
Du Plessis went as far as saying “Gayle makes their team super-human”.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the West Indies cause after Gayle ran a slower ball straight to the keeper the West Indies had a little stutter. Samuels went quickly and the boys coming in kept the fans on the edge of their seats.
Pollard, Bravo & Russell just came out and swung with little success while chipping away at the total.
This brought Darren Sammy the skipper nicknamed ‘the finisher’ to the crease and he did just that taking the boys from the Caribbean over the line with 4 balls to go with a six over square-leg.
Incredible match from the neutral perspective with some serious hitting on show from David Miller, Du Plessis, Marlon Samuels and man of the match Chris Gayle.
“It was an incredible match and we always confident of winning even at half-way” said Gayle
He also made his feelings known about the World cup squad stating “West Indies are not going with their strongest squad and that not selecting Pollard and Bravo was ridiculous”.